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Amazon Kindle 2019 Review: Makes Perfect Sense With The New Found Light

This Kindle’s front-lit display is one of the most comfortable canvases for long hours of catching up on reading.

Vishal Mathur | News18.com@vishalmathur85

Updated:June 8, 2019, 9:38 AM IST
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Amazon Kindle 2019 Review: Makes Perfect Sense With The New Found Light
This Kindle’s front-lit display is one of the most comfortable canvases for long hours of catching up on reading.
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For those who love to read, the Amazon Kindle e-readers have always been the ultimate choice. By far. For more than a decade. The sheer simplicity of the experience made it an alternative to the good old paperback. There is no promise of a connected life, no notifications from the usual distraction inducing apps and no smart assistants getting in your way when you don’t need them. There is no clutter, and you simply get down to the pleasurable activity of reading. But buying a Kindle has never exactly been simple, even though Amazon’s line-up itself is quite uncomplicated. But then again, those who read can often be quite picky.

Till now, you had the entry-spec Kindle available for around Rs 7,000 which offered a good entry-point into the world of Kindle e-readers. However, one would always sit and think if it made more sense to actually spend more on the Kindle Paperwhite (priced around Rs 14,000), complete with its front-lit 6-inch display that would make it incredibly comfortable to read in a dark room, for instance. And at the very top of the pyramid sits the Kindle Oasis, priced around Rs 22,000 for its 7-inch display, gorgeous design and more e-book storage capacity. Now, Amazon has fixed the weakest link—the entry spec Kindle now has a front lit display too. Night time reading, with the lights off? No problem. And this new Kindle will set you back by Rs 7,999.

The design of the new Kindle is extremely easy to get the hang of. It is 160mm tall, 113mm wide and is just 8.7mm thick. There are thick enough bezels around the display which makes holding this up quite easy for hours on end. It tips the scales at 174 grams (which is in the same ballpark as your smartphone), and yet remains very well balanced and a delight to use. One could have never complained that a Kindle reader was heavy, and you cannot start now either.

The new Kindle has a 6-inch display. But the Kindle Paperwhite also has a 6-inch display, you ask? But there are subtle differences on the spec sheet. For starters, the Paperwhite’s screen has more pixels per inch—300ppi compared with 167ppi. For e-books and text, this doesn’t make an iota of a difference, and you won’t at all feel you are reading something on a comparatively less endowed display. It is only when you look at images (and there wouldn’t be many in the typical e-book consumption pattern) is when you will notice the difference in sharpness. Secondly, while the Paperwhite gets 5 LEDs to drive the front lighting, the new Kindle gets four. You can see this if you look very closely at the screen.

All things spec sheet can be put aside, because this Kindle’s front-lit display is one of the most comfortable canvases for long hours of catching up on reading. It may have one lesser LED lighting up the light guide layer in the display, but it doesn’t make an iota of difference. In a pitch-dark room at night, the lowest brightness setting is also adequately bright to catch up on Jeremy Clarkson’s delightful views on the world. Switch to reading next to a window on a bright but lazy summer’s afternoon on a weekend, turning up the brightness a few notches does the trick. Even in this bright ambient light, we really didn’t need to take the Kindle’s display brightness to the maximum—that would assuage any fears you may have about its illumination capabilities.

To be honest, I didn’t miss the brightness memory setting at all, because I habitually prefer to tinker with the display brightness every time I pick up the Kindle to read.

Amazon claims weeks’ worth of battery life on a single charge, with this e-ink display. We really can’t argue with that claim—after all, Kindle e-readers have always delivered on the long battery life claims and this one should be no different. Half an hour of reading for a week, and we were down to 82 percent battery life—with the display brightness varying throughout. That should be good enough for most work travel or a relaxation break you have been waiting to embark on for months now.

The new Kindle gets 4GB internal storage—of this, around 2.4GB will be available to you for storing lots of e-books—and this is available as a Wi-Fi only variant for the time being.

What you need to remember is that this Kindle isn’t water resistant, which means you will have to be careful if you are adamant about taking this into the swimming pool or the bathtub.

It is great to see Amazon leaving the Kindle’s software as un-intrusive and minimalistic as it always has been. Whispersync works wonders if you switch between two devices for Kindle e-books (perhaps an Apple iPad at work). And this would surely be a great time to splurge on that Kindle Unlimited subscription too for a regular stream of new books without having to buy every one of them individually.

Whether you should buy the new Kindle depends on a few factors. Do you have the older generation Kindle, the one that doesn’t have a front-lit display? If yes, upgrade right now. The new one is just that good. Are you looking to buy a Kindle for the first time? Get this one, it’s the perfect entry to the world of e-books. Do you have a Kindle Paperwhite already? Forget the entry-spec Kindle and aim for a Kindle Oasis instead.

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